The difference between ‘Words’ and ‘Deeds’
Hollywood by Choice
Every now and then I go to the movies just for myself and that’s the way I like it. I don’t have to be so technically minded and I don’t have to be mindful of the audience reaction. I can simply go for the pure enjoyment.
Eddie Murphy’s “A Thousand Words” was one of the films I opted to see—hated it. I could not believe how unfunny the movie was. It was like a bunch of guys got together and said, “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if we had this fast-talking guy who prided himself on saying whatever it takes to get the results he wants, and then the guy can’t talk?” Basically that’s the premise of the movie.
Murphy stars as Jack McCall, a literary agent who uses his signature rapid-fire articulation to negotiate moneymaking deals. His sights are set on the “New Age crap” of Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), whose philosophies and teachings are attracting crowds greater than those of Miley Cyrus’ concerts (their reference, not mine).
McCall is willing to say whatever it takes to sign Sinja, even though he never read the book that is currently circulating among Sinja’s numerous followers. But a very odd thing happens when he touches a Bodhi Tree on Sinja’s compound while running his mouth, and McCall’s life changes forever.
To be honest, I was already hating on Murphy’s character before he even met Sinja. It just seemed everything was forced, over the top. It was as if he was trying to be funny, like the director was saying give me more, more.
And I disliked Clark Duke’s character as McCall’s wimpy, not-so-bright assistant who, when speaking for McCall tried to act and talk Black, insults and all. Not funny in the least, and not so amazing some critics pointed to those scenes as a high point in the movie.
Opening weekend the movie came in at No. 6, earning a paltry $6.4 Million. Ouch!
The movie was shot in 2008 and was sitting on the shelf until someone wrongfully resurrected it. In 2008, someone with wisdom knew it wasn’t good then, so why now in 2012? Critics nationwide are calling “A Thousand Words” the worst comedy of all time. I’ll just say it’s the worst movie Murphy has ever made.
Tyler Perry’s “Good Deeds” was a surprise to me. I enjoyed it. The movie is a stark departure from his usual antics. There was not a lot of laughter, so if you’re in the mood to laugh, this is not the movie for you. But if you want to see how someone comes back to life from the edge, then this movie is for you.
In “Good Deeds” Wesley Deeds (Perry) is a reserved, well-mannered, even-tempered man with a lot on his shoulders. He seems content to run his deceased father’s business with a very angry brother, played skillfully by Brian White, who is out to break him down at every turn. Their mother (Phylicia Rashad) is controlling and rules over his life to make sure its perfection in her eyes. On a brighter note, Wesley is engaged to Natalie (Gabrielle Union), the right woman, from the right family, who knows him by heart. For Wesley, life is predictable until he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton) and all hell breaks loose.
It’s a powerful story of struggle and survival on two different fronts. On the one hand, Wesley is doing what’s expected, resigned to a life that’s not his. And then there is Lindsey, going from failure to failure, but determined to escape a life she does not want. A single mother, her life is a battleground and she’s a very angry woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Newton gives a very fine performance.
Yes, folks it’s drama and lots of it. “Good Deeds” may sound predictable but it is well worth watching.
So much for me going to the movies just for me, I ended up writing about them anyway.
"A Thousand Words” and “Good Deeds” are in theaters now.
Recently there was an article published on the online site Jezebel written by Kirsten West Savali discussing “Hollywood’s Invisible Love Interest: The Overweight Black Woman.”
A recent article in the August issue of Essence magazine got me to thinking about how little Hollywood has changed when it comes to casting Black women in film and television productions, specifically in regards to the darker-skinned Black woman.
Actress Nia Long and her two sons grace the cover of the magazine, and it is her comment in the cover story that clicked that certain something in my mind. She told writer Dream Hampton that, “I was the first Brown girl from my generation who got cast in lead roles.”
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—Comedian and eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal will return to the Academy Awards stage to host next year’s ceremony, the Academy announced today.
Crystal actually broke the news himself by posting on his Twitter page, “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”
What? You didn’t know that October is Black Movie Month? And you’re asking, exactly what does that mean? Don’t we have Black History Month in February? So, why do we need a month for Black movies?
ATLANTA, Ga.—Raycom Media one of the nation’s largest broadcasters, will make Bounce TV the first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African American audiences. It will be available in 26 of Raycom’s market when the network launches this fall.